Our Roadtrip: Moving To Spain (Part 2)

A YEAR AND A HALF AGO MY HUSBAND OLLI AND I MOVED TO SPAIN.

We did so not for the sun or tapas, but because we felt that God was inviting us to play a part in his story there. 

part 1: read here

We expected to see radical hospitality, to be welcomed into people’s homes and find a different story to the one people tell about Spain. Because we set out in faith, and with Luke 10 as our guide - these are all the things that are supposed to happen, right?!

How it actually went...

What we actually found was a church that is tired and divided, that has gone a while without thinking about mission and who found the thought of reaching students a few steps too far for the little time and energy they have. We got very few invitations into people’s homes, and it was hard. 

But in the midst of the hard, there was always hope. The first person who invited us into their home was a catholic priest, with that Holy-Spirit twinkle in his eye, who is figuring out more ways of releasing young people to serve in the Catholic Church, and who wanted us to have dinner with him and the young people he’s discipling and who even gave us a gift as we left to bless us and our ministry in Spain. A sign of hope - God on the move.

Like the student in Segovia who just wanted her friends to know Jesus. Like the prophetic young woman in Salamanca who prayed with us around her City, and helped us to have hope for it as she shared her prayers with us. Like the Brazilians in Valladolid who have faith for their campus, the young couple in Vigo who gave us their house keys after a few hours of knowing us so we could stay as long as we like, like the young catholics in Santiago who are seeing students come to faith through alpha each year, like the catholic student in Pamplona who radiates Jesus and invited us to stay with her Mum before she’d even met us. Signs of hope - whispers of God on the move.

"Hope flickered through the students in Sevilla who were so excited to think about how they could reach their friends..."

It’s was the same hope we found hidden in the story of the young church-planter in Barcelona who’s living in the church building because he couldn’t afford both (as in a flat and somewhere for the church to gather!) as the church gets going with new disciples. It was the same hope peaking through in the charismatic catholic community that have started gathering students in Valencia because they just knew there was a hunger and need for it, in the church in Pamplona who have started gathering students to worship in the chapel on campus so that more people can hear and join in, in the student in Santander who came to faith through reading the Bible in his room, in the young church leader in Elche who came to faith at uni cause a friend invited him to church and has now seen his church grow from 4 to 104 in the first few years.

The same hope flickered through the students in Sevilla who were so excited to think about how they could reach their friends, through the guys running student dinners and living radical community in Malaga, through the charismatic catholics trying to impact schools and local parishes with worship in Murcia, through the family in Sevilla learning to do church differently in their neighbourhood, through the small church in Almeria who have started going out onto campus to pray for students because they felt God lead them to, and through the many people in Andalucía who invited us to stay in their homes before they even met us...

And so, although there were many cold nights in the van, some places we didn’t feel welcome, hard meetings, a silly amount of exhaustion, lots of perseverance in prayer and less miracles than we were hoping for, we did, in a very every-day, God-is-always-at-work kind of way, find God at work. We found him at work in his people - whispering hope through those who are willing and daring. And we choose to believe that with each of these simple, willing hearts, he can do something remarkable in this nation. 

Our Prayer

And so we pray for a move of the Holy Spirit in Spain, that he would inspire, refresh and awaken his church; that he would lead them to prayer, compassion and unity. We pray that we would see students being bold in sharing their faith and living it out, and that we’d see God move on their campuses.

Amen.

To follow more of Jo and Olli's adventures in Spain, follow them over on Instagram.

Jo Davis

Student Mission Developer

Jo is passionate about seeing the church thrive and be a place where people can meet Jesus. She works with churches across the West & Wales to equip them to reach and disciple students.

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